City MP’s fears over defence cuts

Stephen Morgan MP has outlined his concern for the future of the armed forces.

The Labour MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, has joined senior defence specialists in voicing concerns regarding future defence funding.

An increase in defence spending was not even mentioned in the Chancellor’s budget on Wednesday and there are fears that impending cuts will further diminish Britain’s position in the international defence community and put national security at risk.

The former First Sea Lord, Lord West, said:

“The hollowing out of our Armed Forces since 2010 has led to the rationale for that to be called into doubt by a number of our allies.

 

Defence does not get the attention it deserves, despite successive Prime Ministers and the current Chancellor mouthing the mantra that the defence and security of our nation and our people is the first duty of any Government. Do they really believe it?

 

Yesterday was the Budget, and we saw no plans to increase defence spending – it was not even mentioned. The Government do not seem to care about the damage being done.”

Stephen Morgan MP added:

“It’s no wonder the Chancellor didn’t once mention defence spending in his budget this week – and that’s because the Government is overseeing an unprecedented weakening of our armed forces.

 

Senior military figures have warned the Government about this hollowing out of our armed forces but they refuse to take defence seriously. Under the Tories, the army is the smallest it has been since the Napoleonic wars and as a nation we are only just meeting NATO’s minimum spending requirements.

 

Defence spending would be even lower if the Government hadn’t started including expenditure such as pension contributions in the budget. Our nation’s defence requires more than statistical sleight of hand.

 

This is happening now: we have already seen the Conservatives scrap HMS Ark Royal and the Harrier Jump Jets, and reports are that our amphibious capability will be next.

 

As the MP for a proud Naval city, and a dedicated advocate for our armed forces, I will not stand by whilst the Government attempts to cut our military beyond recognition.

Labour will keep Britain safe and give our armed forces the resources they need, creating a new Defence Industrial Strategy that puts our nation’s economy and security first. That’s what Portsmouth deserves”.